TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
little space of sky which sleeps beside the
Was it wisdom? Was it knowledge? Was it,
once more, the deceptiveness of beauty, so that
all one's perceptions, half-way to truth, were
tangled in a golden mesh? or did she lock up
within her some secret which certainly Lily
Briscoe believed people must have for the world
to go on at all? Every one could not be as helter
skelter, hand to mouth as she was. But if they
knew, could they tell one what they knew?
Sitting on the floor with her arms round Mrs.
Ramsay's knees, close as she could get, smiling
to think that Mrs. Ramsay would never know the
reason of that pressure, she imagined how in the
chambers of the mind and heart of the woman
who was, physically, touching her, were stood,
like the treasures in the tombs of kings, tablets
bearing sacred inscriptions, which if one could spell
them out would teach one everything, but they
would never be offered openly, never made public.
What art was there, known to love or cunning,
by which one pressed through into those secret
chambers? What device for becoming, like waters
poured into one jar, inextricably the same, one
with the object one adored? Could the body
achieve it, or the mind, subtly mingling in the
intricate passages of the brain? or the heart?